Harry felt the all too familiar jerk behind his navel as the Portkey activated.
swirl of colours and sounds faded and Harry fell forward onto his knees
on cold wet grass, his glasses falling from his face. Trying hard not
to panic, he ran his fingers over the grass until he felt the familiar
frames.He picked them up and placed them on his face and looked around through the smeary wet lenses.
Harry was in the centre of a field,but
he was not alone; he was surrounded by at least a dozen black-robed and
masked Death Eaters. He quickly registered one fact – they all had their wands trained on him!
sun had finally slid beneath the horizon and all that remained was the
deceptively warm and welcoming glow in the far distance. The field was
lit by the flickering orange-red light of flaming torches held by
shrouded dark-cloaked figures whose features were hidden by their
raised hoods. The torch-bearing sentinels were standing in an outer
ring some ten or more feet beyond the Death Eaters. Reckoning there
were two torch-bearers for each of the thirty or more Death Eaters,
Harry realised that Voldemort's efforts in building up his forces had
been far more successful than the Order was aware.
Harry knew that he had to get away and get away quickly.
had drummed into Harry that he must never go out unarmed and it had
been an automatic action for him to tuck his wand into his sleeve when
he had changed to go out, but what good would that do him now?
One wand up against so many – he didn't stand a chance!
stood and kept his wand concealed, thinking that with a bit of luck the
odds might change in his favour. Well, with quite a lot of luck really.
of the anonymous number stepped forward and raised his wand to cast a
spell. Harry prepared himself for the worst and expected to feel the
extreme pain of the Cruciatus Curse or one of the other agonisingly
painful spells the Death Eaters were so fond of, but no…..
Long thin cords sprang from the Death Eater's wand (was that a snake's head he could see grasped in the Death Eater's hand?) and Harry found himself tightly bound from shoulders to ankles. Immediately Harry fell to the ground immobilised.
Another 'If only' sprang to mind. If only I had learned to become an Animagus, I could escape just likeWormtail, thought Harry. This,however, was another skill he had yet to master…. if he ever got the chance.
Lying flat on his back in the long grass, all he could do was stare up at the clear bright sky. Mars is bright tonight, thought Harry recalling Firenze's words, and so is that jet stream.
suddenly realised that he could see the same streak in the sky from the
holidaymakers jet that he had seen on his way to the shop, so that
could only mean that he was still in Little Whinging.
masked figure bent over Harry and a quick search revealed Harry's wand
which was taken ….. along with a cutting of his hair. Knowing of only
one reason to take his hair, Harry guessed that it was to be used in
some Polyjuice Potion and that someone would be impersonating him.
even more in his bonds, Harry could feel panic start to rise inside
him. Someone was going to be going about looking just like him and with
his wand. Harry knew nothing good could come of this, but still could
not break free.
The robes of another masked Death Eater approached Harry slowly, removing his mask as he stepped into a pool of torchlight.
It was Lucius Malfoy.
"I hope you are feeling very uncomfortable, Mr. Potter. It's not much fun being restrained, is it? When Dumbledore tied me up in that Anti-Disapparationcharm in the Ministry last month, I didn't like it much either nor did I enjoy my brief stay in Azkaban. The Dark Lord,of
course, awards his faithful followers; as you can see I am free once
more to do my Lord's work. How soon do you think your friends will
rescue you, Mr. Potter? Not for a very long time if I have anything to
do with it. You will suffer as I suffered, I shall see to that!"
Harry braced himself, expecting indescribable agony, but Malfoy simply pointed that snake-headed wand at him and quietly said, "Stupefy!" and Harry's world went black.
felt extremely sick, thirsty and hungry when he awoke. He had expected
to still be bound hand and foot and to be lying in a damp dungeon
somewhere, but for a fleeting moment he thought he was back at Hogwarts.
was lying on a four-poster bed with hangings of green and silver. Harry
had to part them so that he could throw up on the floor. Shivering
violently and wondering if he had somehow been poisoned as well as
imprisoned, Harry laid back on the bed in an effort to stop his teeth
chattering. Confused by the sudden turn of events, Harry looked around
the luxuriously appointed room.
Far from being a dungeon
Harry guessed he must be on an upper floor as the window was level with
the treetops visible outside. Apart from the very comfortable bed, the
room contained a large leather chesterfield sofa and two matching
armchairs. These were all grouped around a magnificent fireplace with a
large and elaborately carved mantelpiece. Harry expected to see
tapestries or paintings hung on the walls, but they were strangely
After a few minutes a house-elf popped into being at
the side of the bed and wordlessly cleared up the vomit while a second
elf placed a tray of wonderful smelling food and drink on the bedside
table before Disapparating once more.
As he picked up his
glasses where they had been moved beside the tray, Harry saw a covered
plate of bacon, sausages, eggs and tomatoes. There was a rack of toast
with dishes of butter and marmalade and a pot of tea for one with milk
Well, I expect they are just giving the condemned man a hearty breakfast,thought
Harry, but he thought too of what Moody would say if he ate or drank
anything given by a known enemy. Moody's advice had saved Harry's bacon
once before and he wouldn't ignore it now.
Turning away from the temptation on the tray, Harry continued his survey of his surroundings.
room had a high ceiling with an ornate and many-branched candelabrum at
its centre, its light reaching into the farthest corners.
went to stand up and walk to the window to try and get his bearings,
but as soon as he put his feet over the side of the bed he was struck
by wave after wave of nausea and he was forced to lie down again.
Whatever they've poisoned me with I hope it wears off soon,
thought Harry as he laid his head down on the pillow once more. He
closed his eyes to try and calm himself and realised that the canopy of
the bed also had light coming from it … bright penetrating light that
seemed to sear through his eyelids and into his brain.
one arm over his face to try and get some respite Harry tried to
formulate a plan of escape, but he quickly realised that he had too
little information about his surroundings and feeling as sick as he was
he wasn't going to be able to do anything.
Sleep, that's what I need to do, sleep. Rest and recharge the body and hope I'll feel better when I wake. Harry turned over ontohis stomach and buried his face in his pillow and tried to shut out the world.
sun was high in the sky and bright sunshine was streaming through the
beautifully proportioned windows hung with thick dark green velvet
curtains. The sunshine was also going straight into Harry's eyes as he
Once more he sat up groggily and found he had to reach
for his glasses (someone had obviously removed them while he slept)
from the bedside table. The tray of breakfast had been removed and in
its place was a tray containing a basket of rolls, a covered cheese
board with a selection of cheeses, dishes of butter and pickles and a
large bowl of delicious looking fruit. A glass and a jug of what looked
like pumpkin juice was next to the tray.
Harry sat up and
was rubbing his right forearm with his left hand as he swung his legs
out of bed once more. Again the world spun round and round, again he
felt the extreme nausea he'd felt earlier. Lying back, Harry rubbed
once more at his arm as he felt irritation there. Cautiously he sat up
and pushed up the sleeve of the sweatshirt he was wearing. There on the
inside of his right arm was a patch of angry red skin.
at the skin wondering what had caused the itching, but guessing that
some potion had been used there, Harry quickly raised his head when he
heard the sound of the door being opened.
Into the room strode
Lucius Malfoy, arrogance and supreme confidence screaming from his
poise and bearing. Malfoy walked over to the huge fireplace and pointed
his wand into the grate, flames immediately roared to life.
"Feeling comfortable, Mr. Potter? Settling into your new surroundings? I do hope not!"
Harry screwed up his face in puzzlement at Malfoy's words.
you truly aware of your situation?" Malfoy continued. "I hardly think
that you are. You see, Potter, while you languish here in the lap of
luxury you are also being sought by the Ministry of Magic. Why, you may
ask, am I telling you this? Well you see, one Harry James Potter was
last night witnessed performing Dark magic… the Darkest magic
right in front of two members of the Order of the Phoenix! Yes, Potter,
Lord Voldemort is aware of the Order's existence and Dumbledore's
feeble efforts at rallying support against him, but his best efforts
will be in vain. Dumbledore depended so much on his 'Saviour' … you,
Potter, … coming along to save the day! But no more, Potter, no more!
The wizarding world will turn its back on you now, no not even that
Muggle loving fool will make any effort to save you, not when you have
been witnessed committing such unforgivable crimes."
Harry's confusion only grew …. Unforgivable crimes? What did he mean?
Malfoy drew a copy of the Daily Prophet from inside his robes, strode over to Harry's bed and nonchalantly threw it ontothe covers before letting out a roar of laughter.
the way, just in case you thought you might try and escape I warn you
now, this fireplace is not connected to the Floo Network so you should
just lie back and accept your fate. Not that you have any choice! I
once said to you, Potter, that one day you would meet the same sticky
end as your parents and that day will soon be here!" he snarled. "But
not before the Dark Lord ensures you suffer as he suffered," added
Malfoy before sweeping disdainfully from the room.
Fearing another Portkey, Harry looked down at the paper without touching it.
HARRY POTTER - THE BOY-WHO-KILLED
The headlines screamed at Harry.
The article went on…
and destruction came to the town of Little Whinging, Surrey, last
night. The peace of this suburban community was shattered as four
bodies were found in the burned out ruins of the home of Harry Potter,
Potter (16) had been
thought of as the possible saviour of the wizarding world, but this
hope was cruelly shattered as witnesses claim that the Hogwarts student
was seen to cast the Dark Mark in the sky over his former home. Experts
from the Magical Law Enforcement Squad claim that the four bodies were
killed by Avada Kedavra and if tests confirm that Potter did in fact cast the spell, he will receive an automatic life sentence in Azkaban.
Minister of Magic
Cornelius Fudge stated that he never did believe in Potter's innocence
at his hearing last August. "I said then that he was guilty and I still
say that he is guilty. Too many times has Dumbledore bailed that boy
out of trouble, but we have witnesses this time and witnesses from
Dumbledore's own Order of the Phoenix to boot!"
presently being held in protective custody by the MLES, were one
William Weasley (29 of Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon) and Mrs. Arabella
Figg (aged 69 of Little Whinging). Ironically it was the same Arabella
Figg who stood as witness to Potter's innocence when charged with
illegally using the Patronus Charm last August (for a recap on that
charge see page 5). Mr. Weasley attempted to disarm and capture Potter
and, although he managed to escape, he did so without his wand. Experts
from the MLES are currently running tests to determine exactly what
spells Potter had cast thus obtaining irrefutable evidence of his guilt.
Harry slumped back onto the pillows. Murder!
They were accusing him of murder! Well the one place the MLES wouldn't
look for him was in the hideout of the Death Eaters, not that that
would help him any. If he managed to escape he'd end up having to run
from the MLES as well as from the Death Eaters.
Oh joy, isn't life just grand? What other challenges are going to be thrown at me? Harry wondered.
on his back the sweat now running down his face, Harry tried to think
of what Sirius would say if he were here. After all Sirius had been on
the run for two years after escaping from Azkaban, he surely would have
been in tricky situations like this, what would he have done? Cursing
again the fact that while he had the chance to talk to Sirius when he
had stayed in Grimmauld Place, Harry in fact had asked his godfather
very little of what he had gone through and now he would never have
Sirius was gone.
Sirius had spent 12
years in Azkaban, but then Sirius had been an Animagus and had been
able to change into his animal form, that of a huge black dog, and
thereby escaped the worse effects of the dementors.
What if I end up in Azkaban? worried Harry, but he quickly added, Fool, what are you worrying about Azkaban for? The Death Eaters are probably going to do you in long before then!
Turning his thoughts back to his immediate problem of escape, Harry tried once more to check out his surroundings.
The feeling of nausea had gone. Perhaps all the sweating from the fire's heat has sweated some of the poison out of my body, thought Harry as he realised he could stand on the bed and not feel dizzy, but as soon as his foot touched the floor…..Okay, I guess that means that the floor is enchanted to cause nausea to keep me in the bed. Harry lay back and counted up to 200 breathing slowly and steadily until the world steadied once more.
Shoes… where are my shoes?
Harry hung himself over the edge of the mattress, but there was no sign
of his shoes anywhere. No shoes! What a simple, but Harry had to admit
effective, way of reducing a prisoner's ability to escape! Standing up
on the bed again, Harry was able to look out of the high windows to
either side of the four-poster; he could make out beautiful landscaped
parklands surrounding the house.
He appeared to be in one
wing of a large Georgian country house. The way he was strutting around
as though he owned the place Harry guessed this was in fact Malfoy's
mansion, Malfoy Manor, and that would mean he was in…. Wiltshire. The Daily Prophet reported
that Malfoy's home was in Wiltshire when Umbridge's appointment as
Hogwarts High Inquisitor appeared in the paper last year. That's where I must be then and that means that I'm not that far from the Burrow.
Thoughts of the Weasleys came to mind quickly, but just as quickly came the question, Will they believe as Bill does that I'm a murderer? Or will they help me to uncover the truth and prove my innocence?
Survival! That's the name of the game, thought Harry. Standing up on the bed Harry looked around to see what resources he had on hand.
at the bed head above the pillows there were a number of small
tapestries protected behind glass; the centre oval was about 12 inches
by 10 inches and it was surrounded by at least ten small circular
panels, each about four inches in diameter. Taking the pillowcase off
the bottom pillow, Harry carefully held it over the largest oval. It
was tougher than he thought, as the glass was convex as well as oval,
and it took three or four attempts before it at last broke into three
large pieces and one smaller one; miraculously all the pieces stayed in
the frame. Protecting his hands with the pillowcase once more, Harry
carefully lifted out the smallest piece. It was triangular and the two
long edges were wickedly sharp, the third side had been part of the
edge and was bound with fabric tape glued to it. It took some tugging
to finally remove it and using the Daily Prophet (excluding the
front page and page 5) Harry wrapped it so he could hold it like a
knife without cutting himself. All the knocking and tugging at the
bedhead had loosened one of the small circular glass covers and Harry
picked one up and wrapped it carefully, tucking it into the pillowcase.
inside of the ceiling of the four-poster was lined with what Harry
could only assume was enchanted canvas of some sort. It glowed with a
very bright light, so bright that it hurt his eyes to look at it for
long. Glad that he had grown a few inches over the summer (despite the
meagre portions provided by Aunt Petunia) Harry found that if he stood
on the pillows he could reach the canvas. He began to cut it away from
the frame with the glass fragment. It was tough going and made his arms
ache from reaching above his head, but finally he'd cut away a fairly large piece that continued to glow so he tucked that too into his makeshift rucksack.
up through the hole, Harry was able to sit on the top frame of the bed.
The bed was positioned against the outside wall of the house with the
bed head between two very tall elegant Georgian windows. The dark green
velvet curtains were tied back on either side, but had cords attached
to them so they could be closed; they looked as though they hadn't been
touched in years, the outside edges of the pleats being faded and the
inside retaining the original colour. Those silk cords could come in mighty handy, thought Harry. He reached up to cut as long a length as he could.
had just moved the top of the curtain when Harry saw they were infested
with doxies. Harry remembered how careful Mrs. Weasley had been when
dealing with doxies in Grimmauld Place; their sharp teeth were
poisonous and they'd used Doxycide on them. Not having any anti-venom,
Harry gave the doxies the respect they deserved. Dropping back down
onto the bed, he removed two more pillowcases and, once he was back on
the bed head, he used one to grab hold of a couple of doxies and tie
them securely inside the other. Tucking the bundle of cloth inside the
first pillowcase, Harry at last was able to cut the cords and stash
them in the makeshift rucksack.
Balanced on top of the bed
frame, one hand holding tight to the curtains, Harry was able to reach
across to the catch that secured the window. Fortunately it was a sash
window, but two large screws fixed about three inches above the lower
sash meant that it would only open enough to let in fresh air, but not
enough to let Harry escape.
If the bottom window couldn't go up though, Harry realised, the top window could go down.
across once more Harry pushed and pushed until he thought his fingers
would break, but it wouldn't budge. Standing precariously on top of the
bed frame Harry reached up to the curtain pole and found that it was
more than strong enough to hold his weight. It was a large brass pole
with very strong fixings to the wall. He grabbed hold of it and began
to make his way across to the middle of the window, the pillowcase
slung over his shoulder. From this position Harry now found he could
use his feet to push down on the top sash. Slowly, oh so slowly, it
eventually moved down about eight inches, but it was more than enough
for Harry's slim frame to slip through.
Thankful for his years
of Quidditch training which had made him very supple and wiry, Harry
slipped his legs through the gap and after much twisting and squirming,
he was able to release the curtain pole and reach one hand through the
window to grasp the thick ivy covering the outside of the house.
ivy stems were thick, old and twisted and gave Harry plenty of hand and
footholds to assist with his passage towards the roof. (He had
originally planned to climb down, but seeing light spilling out from
the rooms below on the terrace, Harry decided to go up first.) The ivy
was dark green variegated with silvery grey, but intertwined with it
was another plant that Harry quickly recognised from Herbology.
thanks to Professor Sprout, Harry moved towards the nearest strands of
the whispering vine. One of the main uses of this wonderful plant was
for communication; indeed it was strands of whispering vine that made
up the main part of Fred and George's highly useful Extendable Ears
that had come in so handy over the last year.
Harry reached over and held a leaf to his ear, immediately being able to hear all that was being discussed in the room below.
could make out the soft silky tones of Lucius Malfoy and, although his
tones were soft and silky, the words were harsh and cruel.
the time will come when Fudge and the Ministry will come crawling on
bended knees, pleading with the Dark Lord for assistance. As far as the
rest of the wizarding world is concerned, Harry Potter has finally gone
berserk and broken free of Dumbledore's control. He's gone rogue and
yet still Dumbledore won't hear a thing against him, so who can Fudge
turn to? Why he will turn to me! Yes, Bella, I have been carefully
cultivating Fudge for many years now and he is almost ripe for the
He showed last year just how willing he is to
believe in his own judgment and discard the opinions of those around
him. Such an arrogant self-centred fool he is. It was all going so well
until Dumbledore turned up at the Ministry. Yes, it was a pity that
Fudge witnessed the Dark Lord's brief appearance, but no matter. A
carefully cast Memory Charm and he was all too willing to believe it
was all a trick by Dumbledore to try and regain some of his lost
At that moment Harry heard a door open and a voice
announce, "Your guests have arrived, m'Lord, I have shown them into the
library as instructed."
"Thank you, Carstairs, please go and tell my wife so that she may entertain our guests until my arrival."
"Very good, m'Lord."
Harry heard the door close and Malfoy speak once more, "If there's one thing your dear sister is good for, Bella, it is playing the hostess. She can be charm personified when she chooses, but what she lacks is passion. That is one thing you have always had in plenty, my dear, is it not?"
Footsteps were heard to cross the floor and the sound of a hand striking a cheek.
I am passionate, Lucius, you are quite right. I am passionate in my
desire to serve one lord and one lord only. My life, my body, my very
soul belongs to the Dark Lord and you should remember that! You chose
my dear sister many years ago, Lucius, and she has served you well,
given you a son and heir and provided you with the perfect position in
society to enable you to carry out the Dark Lord's will. Do not be so
ready to discard her now! You know my family motto, do you not? 'Toujour Pur,'
always pure, and that includes our hatred of our enemies. You do not
wish to make me an enemy, do you, Lucius?" Now it was Bellatrix's voice
that was silky, but the tones were decidedly dangerous.
Harry supposed the two of them must have left the room together as he heard no more.
Climbing steadily higher, Harry came at last to the stone balustrade that ran round the top of the house.
over the top he could see someone who could only be Goyle Senior
standing guard with a pair of Omnioculars in his hand. Ducking down
quickly, Harry climbed back down the ivy to a point where he could hook
his left leg behind a particularly thick branch, freeing his hands to
reach for his makeshift rucksack. Carefully Harry removed the
pillowcase containing the two doxies and slung the remaining bag back
over his shoulder.
Back up the ivy he went as silently as he
could manage. The sun was dropping towards the horizon once more and
Goyle Senior, showing an appreciation of the beauty of the sunset that
surprised Harry, was standing gazing at the splendour of the sky. Harry
didn't waste this unexpected opportunity and he hopped nimbly over the
balustrade, dropping into a crouch on the other side. The roof had
narrow stone walkways around the edge and in the centre were a number
of glazed skylights, some quite simple, some very ornate like miniature
conservatory roofs. Harry crouched down out of Goyle's sight and looked
through the glass into the room below.
It obviously was the
library. The room was two storeys high and had a wide balcony running
all the way round the inside with a spiral staircase down to the main
floor level. It was beautifully proportioned and contained many
thousands of books and, Harry guessed, a good number of them would
probably belong in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library. An
impressive stone fireplace filled one wall flanked by two leather
In the centre of the library was a huge table with
a map of the whole of the UK on it. It seemed to be an enormous version
of the Marauder's Map with labelled dots moving across it. While Harry
was staring at it and wishing he could see the details more clearly, he
suddenly remembered the Omnioculars Goyle was holding and wished he had
them instead. What he did have, however, and which had obviously been
overlooked by his captors, was one of Fred and George's Extendable Ears
tucked in his pocket. Thank goodness it looked just like a ball of pink string,
thought Harry. Unwinding the ball, Harry found that he could wiggle one
end down through a crack in the glass and was able to lower it into the
room. Sticking the other end in his ear, Harry was able to listen in on
the conversation in the room below.
"…… should have the
desired effect. Fudge is due to address the final Sitting of the House
on the night of the 1st August. The Parliament won't meet again until
24th September, after the summer recess; that gives us almost two
months to make sure everything is in place before the start of the
The Dark Lord will arrive at the Circle at fifteen minutes to midnight on the night of the Equinox, 24th September, and
he demands that everything be in place for the ceremony to take place
at midnight precisely. We have Potter, but we still need his sword, the
talisman, the staff and the book. Once the ceremony has been conducted
the Dark Lord will be invincible. No matter what Dumbledore tries, he
will not be able to stop the Dark Lord once he has absorbed Potter's
Progress reports please, Ladies and Gentlemen…….."